Display Status This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Clifford W. Henderson (1895 -1984) was an aviation promoter and showman who managed the annual National Air Races from 1928 until 1939, bringing attention to the expanding field of sport aviation. Born in Iowa, Henderson graduated from the University of Southern California in 1917 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He served in the 35th Ambulance Unit, France, during World War I, before transferring to the 101st Aero Squadron where he learned to fly. After the war, Henderson returned to California and was chairman of ground arrangements for the departure and return of the Army's Around the World Flight in 1924 from Clover Field. In 1928 he became Director of Aviation of Los Angeles and served as the first manager of the Los Angeles airport system. Also in 1928 Henderson became director of the National Air Races and was responsible for interesting industry leaders in competition trophies, including the Thompson, Bendix and Grieve Trophies. He retired from managing the National Air Races in 1939. Henderson served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, rising to the rank of colonel. He played an instrumental role in planning the Burma Hump air route, and also served as military governor of Dakar in North Africa. After the war, Henderson was suffering from illness and injuries sustained in Africa, and so went to recuperate in California where he founded Palm Desert, California. He remained active in the Palm Desert community until his death in 1984.

Identifier

NASM.2008.0035

Processing Information

Arranged, described, and encoded by Patti Williams, 2008. Revised and encoded by Amandal Buel, 2019. Revised and digital assets attached by Allan Janus, 2020.

Creator

Henderson, Clifford W., 1895-1939

Date

bulk 1912-1943

Provenance

Heritage Auction Galleries, Gift, 2008

Extent

1 Cubic foot ((3 boxes))

Summary

The Clifford W. Henderson Papers consists of one cubic feet of material documenting Clifford Henderson's aviation career, especially his role as Director of the National Air Races from 1928 until 1939. The collection includes photographs, including autographed photographs, National Air Races ephemera (programs, tickets, release and indemnity agreement, stationary), and correspondence.

Restrictions

No restrictions on access.

Type

Collection descriptions

Archival materials

Sheet music

Articles

Photographs

Correspondence

Ephemera

Tickets

Programs

Arrangement note

The Clifford W. Henderson Papers are-- is arranged by content type.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of one cubic feet of material documenting Clifford Henderson's aviation career, especially his role as Director of the National Air Races from 1928 until 1939. The following types of material are included: photographs, including autographed photographs; National Air Races ephemera (programs, tickets, release and indemnity agreement, stationary); correspondence; sheet music; newspaper clippings; first-day cover; and periodicals. Note: The digital images in this finding aid were repurposed from scans made by an outside contractor for a commercial product and may show irregular cropping and orientation in addition to color variations resulting from damage to and deterioration of the original objects.

Genre/Form

Sheet music

Articles

Photographs

Correspondence

Ephemera

Tickets

Programs

Rights

Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests

Names

National Air Races

Topics Aeronautics
Airplane racing
Aeronautical sports
Aeronautics -- Exhibitions

Citation

Clifford W. Henderson Papers, Acc. NASM.2008.0035, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Archival Repository

National Air and Space Museum Archives

Finding Aid Online Finding Aid